Photos and Text by Irina Echarry
HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 20 — On the patio of the Asociacion Cubana de Derecho de Autor Musical* (ACDAM), every third Thursday of the month —and for free— singer-songwriter Angel Quintero provides an intimate serenade to those gathered there.
Quintero’s compositions were some of the most widely selected in the world of Cuban trova a few years ago; groups like Moncada and Manguare as well as soloists such as Sara Gonzalez interpreted his melodies and boosted them to fame.
The audience that turns up at this venue is typically sparse, made up mostly of the artist’s friends and guests. On September 16, with rain threatening to come down on us, we also heard the voices of troubadour Marta Campos and Tato, an almost Cuban-Chilean who has lived on the island for many years.
Tato sang his own songs, like Canto para un sinsonte blanco, dedicated a song to a Chilean friend “who used to pull out his guitar and we would spend afternoons making music.” He went on to render us a version of Volver a los diecisiete, by Violeta Parra.
At five in the afternoon, “Angel’s Patio” is a spot that reminds one of the trova of the ‘80s, with tunes like Corazón, corazón or La Ventana, and where we also heard other new ones such as Flor de Marabú (Marabout Flower), “inspired by the beauty of the flower that spouts on that thorny bush”; and Tus ojos, which “invokes peace in the relationship of a couple.”
In that same song, according to the author, “People look at each other without seeing one another; they’re connected to another reality and don’t see what’s going on around them.” He also sang a writing by Jose Marti that he put to music.
Angel Quintero was accompanied by the musicians with whom he usually works: Juan Carlos Abad (bass), Yasek Perez (percussion) and Elianny Gato (flute)
*Asociacion Cubana de Derecho de Autor Musical, on the ACDAM patio (Calle 6 between 13th and 15th), Vedado
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